Lesson 2: SEO
In the previous lesson, we learned about a few free online resources to help you analyze, monetize, build email lists, and so much more. These are valuable in your journey to creating your blog. Next, we are going to go beyond your blog and discuss things you can do to build brand awareness, get more traffic to your blog, and begin making money if that is the direction you want to eventually take it.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the practice of optimizing your website or blog to rank high on search engines. The higher you rank, the more traffic you will get to your posts, and everyone likes more traffic.
Think about when you search for something on a search engine. How often do you click the first link? How about the top three links? How often do you go past the second page? Each of these show a declining number of how many times you do this, which proves how important it is to rank high in search engine results.
We discussed SEO earlier, in Unit 3: Lesson 1, when beginning to write your first blog post. The main topic we covered was doing proper keyword research. If you forget, please go back and review this practice. It is extremely important when creating a post.
Now that you have the keyword phrase chosen, it is time to implement that into your blog post. Do not write a post to rank on a search engine. Posts should be first and foremost written for human readers and not for a computer search engine. If you write to primarily rank, one day you will see your post disappear from the top page of a search engine.
Way back when search engines were just getting popular, websites would choose a keyword they would want to rank for and stuff in as many of those keywords they could into their writing. This is because at the beginning of search engines, the algorithm that returned websites after a search provided websites with the most quantity of those keywords. The result was not quality content, but lots of keyword phrases that did not make sense for a human reader. Then, search engines caught on to this practice and created more and more complex algorithms to improve their search results. Thus why practices like these no longer continue. Search engines continue to improve search algorithms almost every day.
Here is a list of places where you will want your keyword phrase to be when creating a post to help improve your SEO:
- In your title, preferably closer to the beginning.
- In the first 100 words of your text.
- In your heading tags.
- In the alt tag of your images (This can be found after you click on the Media tab and click a image).
- In the slug of your page (For example, www.YourWebsite.com/this-is-your-slug).
- In the body of your post. The keyword density should be around 1%.
There are so many other factors that you can consider when you are writing and after you finish writing to help your SEO. However, this is a good start for a beginner. In Unit 2, we recommended a specific plugin to help called Yoast SEO. When this plugin is installed, you will have an area underneath your writing where you can write your focus keyword and see the different factors that you are doing well on, and how you can improve. This is all included in the free version of the plugin, and it is extremely beneficial to have it installed on your website.
Covering all of SEO would take more than just this blog post. Not only that, but it is always changing. Everyday, search engines are tweaking their algorithms. What we covered in this guide is fairly basic stuff that remains consistently true. If you want to learn more about SEO, we recommend MOZ for a guide to SEO.
These are a must have if you are creating a community of users in any way. I am not going to go into detail on either of these subjects as I am unqualified to provide legal advice. I will just state that it is necessary to have these drafted for you by an attorney. It is worth the money in the long-run by avoiding lawsuits for users uploading content, and you being blamed for copyright infringement. I would also recommend that you do not get an online generator or template to do this for you as they are generally very poorly done, and you will not be protected by them.
For further help with legal issues, contact an attorney.
Lesson 1: Why Blogging?
Lesson 1: Creating Your Name
Lesson 2: Choosing Your Host and Platform
Lesson 3: Setting Up Your Blog
Lesson 1: Writing Content
Lesson 2: After You Write
Lesson 1: Blogging Resources
Lesson 2: SEO
Lesson 3: Social Media
Lesson 4: Advertising
Lesson 5: Monetizing
Lesson 1: Continuing with Your Blog